The Best Running Games for Kids to Get Active

Even though most kids like to run, they get bored running around a track or a gymnasium or walking in place. Keeping them active requires creativity, so why not try? Kids can get exercise while having fun by organizing fun games that involve running. You’ll find a variety of running games that are sure to impress kids, whether you’re looking for sports games, physical education games, beach games, or just backyard games.

Five Best Fun Outdoor Running Games to Keep Kids Fit

Pony Express

Best Fun Outdoor Running Games to Keep Kids Fit
How to play Pony Express?


A circle on a grassy field or a gym, two relay batons (optional)


  • Split the kids evenly into two teams.
  • On opposite sides of the circle, each team forms a line.
  • Every team member runs around the circle (in the same direction) after you give the command. The goal is to return to their line without getting caught by the runner on the other team and to tag (or pass) the next person on their team.
  • A runner reaches their team’s line and tags their teammate, who then begins running around the circle as fast as possible to avoid being caught by the runner from the opposing team. The next runner can also be passed a baton by a child.
  • One runner from each team must complete a full circuit of the circle as soon as possible.

In addition to encouraging teamwork and coordination, this game brings out the competitive spirit within the children. You can count it on the top of the list of Five Best Fun Outdoor Running Games to Keep Kids Fit.

Read Also: Fun activities to combat childhood obesity

Scavenger Hunt

Materials to Locate

How to Play

  • Put together a list of items that can be found around the place where the kids will run. There should ideally be some specific items (e.g., a water fountain) and others that are vague (e.g., something that starts with the letter G). Children can make up their own answers in this way.
  • You should start at the top of the list.
  • After you’ve finished that item, move onto the next one.

Young children will enjoy playing this game. As kids play, they forget that they are running, which encourages both creativity and curiosity. This is the second-best pick of in Five Best Fun Outdoor Running Games to Keep Kids Fit.

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Capture the Flag


Marking cones or other markings on the field, two flags or bandanas (can be wrapped in the cones)

How to Play

  • The kids will compete in two equal teams.
  • Make a marking in the middle of the field or gymnasium. The flags of each team should be positioned approximately 50 feet from the center of the field.
  • The flags of both teams are moved to the opposite side of the field when it’s blown or whistled or whenever “go” is called.
  • When a player is tagged on the opponent’s side, the player goes to jail (the area on the side of the field designated for this purpose). If someone from your team frees you from jail, you are rescued.
  • If you want to play for a certain amount of time, you can choose the most flags captured to win. In addition, one team could play until it reaches a particular number of points (scoring a point for each flag it captures).

It can be played both indoors and outdoors. Parents, who are accustomed to playing games, can also be included in the birthday party, especially if they attend.

Related: Physical inactivity in children |A growing epidemic|

Where to Run Next?

The equipment you required:

Small pieces of paper are used to depict various landmarks and locations.

How to Play

  • Ideally, the children should play this game outside, in an open area with more than one landmark they can run to.
  • An adult or coach records the names of landmarks in the vicinity, such as bleachers, goal posts, backstops, equipment sheds, and long jump pits, in small pieces of paper.
  • You can put the pieces of paper in a small pouch or bags like brown paper bags.
  • As one kid pulls out a piece of paper and reads the address, another kid watches eagerly. Once they all reach that location, they must all run.
  • Each child pulls out a new piece of paper once they reach the destination.

In this fun game, kids manage interval training just for them. Studies have shown that interval training can improve health and fitness in adults. [1]

Related: Mindfulness exercises for children

Sharks and Minnows

For younger children, capture the flag is similar to this game, but there is no flag to capture.


An open rectangular area of play (a field or gym) with cones or lines marking its boundaries.

How to Play

  • Choose 1-4 kids to play the role of sharks (depending on the group size). The rest of us will be mere minnows.
  • A shark stands in the middle of the field and calls out, “Fishing, fishing, fishing! Come swim with me!”
  • “Sharky, sharky, sharky! You can’t catch me!” they say as they line up at the end of the rectangle. In the remaining minutes, the minnows struggle to avoid being tagged by sharks as they race across the field.
  • Minnows that have been tagged will automatically become sharks and attempt to catch other minnows.
  • Only one or two minnows remain in the next round when they become sharks.